BALANCE AND STABILITY - TOP 5 EXERCISES

This article is a natural progression from one of our previous topics - mobility. Although balance and mobility are completely different components of health, they must work together in order to maintain movement and balance throughout our daily lives.  

 

Balance is the ability to stay upright or in control of our bodies movement. This, combined with coordination, is the ability to move two or more body parts smoothly and efficiently, whilst maintaining control.  Balance plays a large role in our overall function and movement and, as we age, is also important in falls prevention management. As we have previously done we will provide 5 staple exercises you can use to improve balance and stability.

The following is a general and basic list of five exercises that can contribute to stability and balance. They will not replace consulting with a health professional for specific advice, but will assist with strength and will not aggravate any previous injuries or soreness.  All of the exercises should first be attempted holding on to a stable surface.
1. Eyes Closed Balance

Level 1

  • Stand upright with good posture.

  • Close your eyes and try to maintain balance for 30-60 seconds.

  • Hold on throughout to ensure you do not fall.

  • Repeat 3 times.

 

Level 2

  • Progress to performing this balance on one leg, as picture indicates.

  • Close eyes and try to maintain balance for 30-60 seconds.

  • Hold on throughout to ensure you do not fall.

  • Avoid excess sway. If required, place one toe on the floor to regain balance.

  • Repeat 3 times. 

Level 2

2. Eyes Open Uneven Balance

Level 1

  • Stand upright with good posture.

  • Place both feet on an uneven surface such as a pillow or towel.

  • Try to maintain balance for 30-60 seconds.

  • Hold on throughout to ensure you do not fall.

Level 2

  • Progress to performing this on one leg as picture indicates.

  • Try to maintain balance for 30-60 seconds.

  • Hold on throughout to ensure you do not fall.

  • Avoid excess sway. If required, place one toe on the floor to regain balance.

  • Repeat 3 times. 

Level 2

3. Stork Stand / Single Leg Balance

  • Stand upright with good posture.

  • Start with feet together. Standing tall.

  • Weight bear on one leg. Lift the other knee to 90 degrees and hold.

  • Repeat on the opposite leg.

  • Try to maintain balance for 30-60 seconds on each leg.

  • Hold on throughout to ensure you do not fall. 

  • Repeat 3 times on each leg.

  • Finish feet together. Standing tall.

 

 

 

4. Sit to Stand

  • Sit on a chair with your hips either at or above knee height. 

  • Feet should be shoulder distance apart. Spine straight. 

  • From this position stand up with control until fully upright.

  • Now sit down slowly with control.

  • Perform 3 sets of 10 repetitions.

  • Try not to swing your upper body to initiate the movement.

  • If you cannot perform this unaided you can push the arms of the chair or hold a bench in front of you. 

5. Balance Reach Leg

 

  • Stand upright with good posture. Place hands on hips.

  • Stand on one leg and maintain your balance as best as possible.

  • Keep a gentle bend in the knee of the standing leg. 

  • Action: with your other leg attempt to touch your toes to point out three spots - diagonally in frontforward, to the side and diagonally backwards.

  • Touch each point ten times.

  • Return to the start position and perform on the other side.

  • Repeat the exercise 3 times on each leg.

  • Finish with feet together, standing tall.

These exercises are generalised and of low intensity and can be performed daily for best results. They will improve stability and balance within reason, however specific movements that you have difficulty with can be improved with specific therapy. If you need assistance with balance, movement or general functional capacity feel free to contact our exercise physiologist to book a functional assessment on 07 5456 1599.

NEED ASSISTANCE WITH BALANCE AND STABILITY?

MAKE AN APPOINTMENT WITH ONE OF OUR EXERCISE PHYSIOLOGISTS 

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Tristan Hall​

Sunshine and Cooloola Coasts

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Brendan McCann

Brisbane

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Courtney Mallett

Cooloola Coast

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Wian van Heerden

Sunshine Coast